WITH VIDEO: A 14-year-old boy is feared to have drowned after getting caught up in rough seas off Newhaven.

The local boy, who has not been named, was swimming with a friend at 4.15pm today when he disappeared under the waves.

A full search was immediately launched with police, coastguards and paramedics immediately attending the scene.

The friend was not swept off and is safe.

A Sussex Police spokesman told The Argus at 5pm: “Police and coastguard are currently in West Beach, Newhaven, looking for a 14-year-old local boy who drifted off when he was swimming with a friend at 4.15pm.

“The search is ongoing.”

He urged people against swimming as strong winds were predicted and said the police would release more information as they had it.

He said: "This is a very distressing incident and everything possible is being done to try to find the boy."

Meanwhile all agencies remind people of the dangers of being at seashores in adverse weather, especially in view of the approaching severe weather conditions overnight. The advice is straightforward - stay clear.

Other people said lifeboat workers on roads were being lowered into the sea.

The Solent Coastguard says search conditions on scene are very difficult for the rescue teams involved, with rough seas and poor visibility.

Watch Manager, Steve Mann said: “This weekend we have been expecting hurricane-force winds and we are urging people to take extra care.

"The crashing waves are spectacular to watch but also extremely dangerous. HM Coastguard’s advice is simple: don’t take risks.

"But if you do get into difficulty, or spot someone who might be in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

The Argus is en route to Newhaven and will add more information as we have it.

Click here to view a webcam.